Hicks, Nalle earn titles at Junior Olympic regionals

A pair of Rhode Island high school athletes struck gold at this weekend’s Region I Junior Olympic Championships at Icahn Stadium in New York.

Alva Hicks, a junior-to-be from Classical High, went home with two titles. Hicks won the hammer in the age 15-16 division with a toss of 136 feet, 1 inch.  Smithfield’s Meagan Malloy, who will be a sophomore this fall, placed second at 116-04. Hicks was also victorious in the 1K discus with a distance of 135-2.

In the 17-18 hammer, Woonsocket’s Cheyanne Nalle placed first with a heave of 133-10. The Villa Novans’ Connor Fugere was second in the men’s 17-18 hammer with a 192-04 effort.

East Providence’s Ryan Williams, who captured the 100- and the 200-meter dashes at the outdoor state meet last month, place fifth in the 17-18 100 with a time 11.16 seconds.

North Kingstown’s Ben Stewart, who defended his 300 hurdles crown at the states, demonstrated his versatility this weekend by taking fifth overall in the decathlon with 5,187 points. Stewart’s performance comes a week after setting a state record of 5,537 points at the Region I qualifiers in Scarborough, Maine.  That point total broke the existing mark of 4,961 points, set last year by two-time pole-vault state champion Nick Tyler of Portsmouth.

Stewart had an impressive leap of 10-11.75 in his debut in the pole vault in the qualifier. He collected the bulk of his points in the long jump (20-5, 630 points), 400 (52.24, 714 points), 100HH (16.41, 687 points) and the 1,500 (4:41.7, 668 points). In this weekend’s meet, Stewart was first in the 1,500 with a fast time of 4:25.82. He was also first in the long jump (20-4.5) and was second in the high jump (5-8.75).

The Sentinel Striders, a Smithfield-based track and field club, had a trio of their athletes make it to the top of the podium in the younger divisions. Sam Toolin captured the 3,000 in the 11-12 division with a strong time of 10:16.74. Teammate Max DiMuccio was second at 10:45.49. In the 13-14 3,000, the Striders' Bobby Bissitt broke the tape with a time of 10:28.01. Reilly Bennett won the shot put in the 7-8 division with a heave of 21-2.75.

The top finishers at the regionals advance to the nationals, to be held in Greensboro, N.C., July 22-28.